What are Passenger Lifts?

Passenger lifts are the type of lift that most people will be familiar with, and the chances are that we’ve almost all used a passenger lift before! Passenger lifts can be used in a wide range of different buildings, including both commercial and residential applications. Passenger lifts are, unsurprisingly, used to transport passengers between floors in a building, and can come in several different types. Passenger lifts come in a range of different shapes and sizes (which will depend on the size of the lift shafts available), and can usually carry between two and thirty passengers, though most passenger lifts you encounter will have capacity for around eight to twelve passengers.

Passenger lifts are the preferred choice where speed of travel, the capacity of users, and improving traffic flow within a building are important factors, whereas platform lifts are ideal for buildings that don’t have easy access for the disabled or are used in low-rise buildings and commercial buildings. Public buildings, office buildings, residential buildings, museums, restaurants, shops, hospitals and industrial premises with two or more floors will likely require some sort of lift if you are to provide your users with an easy way to navigate your building, as well as to provide disabled access and access for all!

Adjacent Right

Installing a passenger lift requires the construction of a lift shaft and winding mechanism that move the car within the shaft. To allow the lift car to stop level with the lowest floor, there should be a lift pit (typically over one metre tall) built-in as part of your installation. Lifts designed for passengers are also subject to the Lift Directive regulations, which allows travel faster than 0.15m/s. This allows building owners to encourage the relatively rapid movement of people through their buildings – the average journey in a standard passenger lift takes 18 seconds per floor, though of course, every project is unique. In multi-storey buildings, passenger lifts are the preferred method of vertical transportation according to UK regulations. It is important to note, however, that there are several barriers you may encounter when it comes to installing passenger lifts, which is when an alternative, such as platform lifts, may be worth considering.

Lift Installations

As well as traditional passenger lifts, we also offer a range of specialist passenger lifts and different types of lift, including:


New Passenger Lift Installations

Sheridan Lifts is proud to be one of the largest independent lift installation companies in the UK, with over 40 years of experience. From our Manchester, London and Birmingham offices, we work with businesses, construction sites, building managers and private residents all over the UK. Our expert team of lift installers and lift engineers are the very best at what they do, and this is reflected in all of our work, and our extensive experience of lift installations nationwide.

When you work with Sheridan, you’ll have expert lift industry support whenever you need it and an end result that meets your individual requirements. As well as working with a wide range of passenger lift installation clients on a regular basis, we also offer ongoing maintenance contracts and regular passenger lift services for our clients to ensure their lifts are working to the best of their ability for many years to come!

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FAQs About Passenger Lifts

In comparison with passenger lifts, platform lifts are best suited to transporting fewer passengers, travelling shorter distances, and at lower speeds. Platform lifts typically don’t travel more than 2m, and they are speed limited to 0.15m/s.

In addition to being able to be used indoors or outdoors, platform lifts can also be designed to fit in vertical or angled spaces, and even around curved staircases. A platform lift does not require a large pit to be dug – a 75mm pit is sufficient – while a passenger lift requires over a metre. A “corkscrew” system is used to raise and lower the platform from the bottom, compared to passenger lifts which pull the lift from the top. If space is tight, a platform lift can be a good solution, as they take up much less space than a traditional passenger lift.

To some people, a lift is just a lift, and can be used for everything! However, at Sheridan Lifts, we understand both the practical considerations and safety considerations required when installing a new lift. The legal requirements for goods lifts are very different from those required for passenger lifts, which means you may well be putting passengers at risk and opening up your organisation to a range of legal issues!

If your lifts are customer-facing, there are also aesthetic considerations to take into account. In general, goods lifts are designed for just that, while passenger lifts also incorporate a range of safety and usability features designed for human users.

The vast majority of the time, passenger lifts will require a lift shaft and a pit (usually with a depth of at least 1m), which can make installation difficult in existing buildings. In older buildings, platform lifts tend to be the lift option of choice. However, if you’re not sure what your project needs, the experienced team of lift engineers at Sheridan Lifts will be delighted to help you make the right choice.

Yes, passenger lifts require maintenance! Lift maintenance is required for almost all lift types, and as a lift designed for carrying people first and foremost, the safety and security of users is absolutely paramount. Whether your passenger lift is in a residential setting, high rise building, hospital building, domestic environment or as a commercial lift, regular maintenance is always required.

In general, passenger lifts require considerable construction work in order to be correctly and safely installed, including a lift pit of at least one metre. This makes them unsuitable for many private residences, and many home lifts are actually platform lifts of some kind. However, if there is space available for the lift shaft and lift pit in a residential building, passenger lifts can be an excellent option for home lifts.

Case Studies